Black Culture

Pop Culture Without Culture: Examining the Public Backlash to Beyoncé’s Super Bowl 50 Performance



In her Super Bowl performance, Beyoncé was condemned for paying homage to the Black Panthers. Critics claimed it was ant-American and anti-police. This condemning was a clear example of how black artists are treated when they speak on black issues. In order to maintain success they must hide certain parts of their cultural identities. However, non-blacks frequently adopt aspects of black culture without recognizing its cultural value. The amount of backlash from her Super Bowl performance shows how even top artists such as Beyoncé are reminded of how their race and culture is treated in America.

Gammage, Marquita. 2017. “Pop Culture Without Culture: Examining the Public Backlash to Beyonce’s Super Bowl 50 Performance.” Journal of Black Studies 48(8): 715-731.


“What would America be like if we loved black people as much as we love black culture?”


Actress and activist Amandla Stenberg delivers a crash discourse on black culture and cultural appropriation (2015).



Black Hair is Not a Trend for White Consumption

Jerica Deck writes a short article using a personal anecdote to explain appropriation of black features in popular culture. She mentions hairstyles she was once embarrassed to use becoming edgy new trends when worn by non-blacks. She points out the issue of many white Americans appropriating hairstyles without learning anything about the culture behind them.

Black Hair Is Not a Trend for White Consumption

Deck, Jerica. 2016. “Black Hair Is Not a Trend for White Consumption.” Afro – American Red Star, June 4, p. A6.

Color-Blind Ideology and the Cultural Appropriation of Hip-Hop



“Color-blindness works as an ideology by obscuring the institutional
arrangements reproducing structural inequalities and does so in a way that justifies and defends the racial status quo”

In Harrison’s article, he explains how white youth are able to use color-blind ideology to participate and to justify their participation in hip-hop, an African American art form very popular in America and the world. Using ethnographic methods and interviews he talks with white concertgoers and finds that this ideology allows them to culturally appropriate popular culture for their own purposes. The concertgoers used color-blind ideology to adopt cultura forms but not their connections with race. This ideology leads to the exploitation of black culture by those who have more racial power.

Rodriquez, Jason. 2006. “Color-Blind Ideology and the Cultural Appropriation of Hip-Hop.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 35(6): 645-668.


Jasmine Mans – Footnotes for Kanye – Muddy Feet live at Boxedin

Must Read:

  • Brown, T., Kopano, B., Soul Thieves: The Appropriation and Misrepresentation of  African American Popular Culture(2014)